Turn the Tide on Plastic In the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18


Introduction: Why we are here

About us

How to follow

What is the Volvo Ocean Race?

The race boat

Sustainability: A race within a race

There's no 'I' in team

About our partners

Useful information (contacts)

Introduction: Why we are here

Dee Caffari’s ambition of becoming a skipper in Volvo Ocean Race has become a reality. There was a time, post 2014-15 edition of the race, Dee was desperate to be involved in a team in any way, shape or form. Despite having extensive experience (from the previous all-female entry in 2014-15) and the advantage of the mixed gender crew rule, the process of the teams recruiting crew was a slow one. As the weeks went by, Dee became more and more convinced her time wouldn’t come.

When the concept of a team representing the ‘Clean Seas’ campaign was initially discussed, one of the key issues was finding partners with the same core ambitions to back the campaign. This is where Principal Sustainability Partner, the Mirpuri Foundation come in. By becoming Founding Partners of the team alongside the Ocean Family Foundation, these two companies allowed this progressive campaign to move from conception to reality. Joined together by the core ambition to ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’, the campaign was born.

“We are a team that wants to make a difference. I believe we have created a campaign that will allow people to connect on a personal level to this project. We are racing around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race to support the UN Environment’s ‘Clean Seas’ campaign with the ambition of raising awareness of the plastic pollution in our oceans.
Our team is also the first team in Volvo Ocean Race history to have an equal number of men and women onboard. We are building a multinational, 50-50 male-female squad, with the majority under 30 years of age.
Our message is a strong one. We may not start out as race favourites but we will grow and we will improve and we certainly won’t give up.”

- Dee Caffari, Skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic

© Beau Outteridge / Turn The Tide On Plastic

About us

Turn the Tide on Plastic is a mixed, youth focused team with a strong sustainability message, led by Britain’s Dee Caffari. The campaign, backed by the principle sustainability partner the Mirpuri Foundation, and Ocean Family Foundation, is dedicated to the issue of ocean health.

Plastic has been polluting our oceans for decades and time is running out. Our team’s guiding mission is to amplify United Nations Environment’s 'Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic' campaign throughout the eight months of the race.

Skipper Dee Caffari has built a multinational, 50-50 male-female squad, with the majority under 30 years of age. Alongside the sustainability focus, the messages around inclusivity in age and gender will be strong themes of our campaign, that in sporting terms may not start as a favourite, but we hope could easily surprise on the water.

Join us, as we embark on our biggest journey yet! Sign up to team press releases.


Team mission

Turn The Tide On Plastic is competing in the round the world Volvo Ocean Race with a strong sustainability message that aims to encourage people to change their behaviour towards single-use plastic and marine pollution. They endeavour to lead and inspire lasting changes in addressing the crisis of plastic pollution in our ocean.

Follow the team

To keep up to date with the latest from Turn The Tide On Plastic follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Below are links to each account.

Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - YouTube


What is the Volvo Ocean Race?

The ultimate test of a team in professional sport.

The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the greatest challenges in professional sport. The 2017-18 edition will take the teams 45,000 nautical miles around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 landmark Host Cities.

It is said, by the sailors themselves, that anyone who takes part in this race is ‘abnormal’. There is no prize, there is no compensation for winning, the only reward is seeing your name etched in the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy and for some, this is enough to keep the obsession to win alive for decades.

Since 1973, the Volvo Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Learning what it takes to do the Volvo Ocean Race comes with experience but the grit and determination, you are born with.

The race sits, just as it always has, at the intersection of human adventure, and world-class competition. Thanks to the work of the Onboard Reporters embedded with every team, fans are given a unique insight into just what it takes to win a race that is relentless in its demands – as teams give everything they have, 24 hours a day, in pursuit of the tiny advantages that can make all the difference. Because make no mistake – the competition is fierce. In the current era of One Design racing, the only way to win is by sailing harder, and smarter, than your competitors. The race is won out on the water with the crews; not in the design phase.

© Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

The race’s concept is simple: it’s a round-the-clock pursuit of competitive edge and the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors against each other across the world’s toughest waters. It’s relentless: the importance of winning, the adventure of life on board, the transformative effect on the sailors — all of these combine to give the race its power and depth.

In 2017-18, there is a renewed emphasis on the Southern Ocean and a new set of rules too – incentivising mixed crews of male and female sailors and more strategic innovation out on the racecourse.

There will be highs and lows, good times and bad, but at the end all that’s remember is the life-changing moments this race will inevitably bring and for the young sailors onboard Turn the Tide on Plastic, it will be an adventure beyond their wildest dreams.

45,000 nautical miles. 12 Host Cities. 7 teams. 1 winner.

The race boat

The Volvo Ocean 65, introduced for the 2014-15 edition, is built to a single, tightly controlled set of plans from Farr Yacht Design. No longer do the teams need designers; the boat is designed for them.

One benefit of this was the cost reduction made possible by just one set of plans, and one team of builders. The boats were much more affordable than the previous generation. Much more importantly, it meant that the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race was won and lost by the athletes, out on the water. With no one and nothing to blame, the crews embraced the fact that the buck stopped with them.

Volvo Ocean 65

Sustainability: A race within a race

Our team will be racing around the world competing in the Volvo Ocean Race at the highest level of competitive sailing. The crew members of Turn the Tide on Plastic will go through hell and for every beautiful sunset or enjoyable moment there will be a thousand moment of pain. But that’s racing. Our crew choose to do this because they love the sport, but more importantly, they know with this campaign there is a bigger cause, one that matters to us all, whether we know it or not.

The partnership with UN Environment will see the Volvo Ocean Race and the Turn the Tide on Plastic theme use its storytelling platform to amplify the Clean Seas campaign to raise awareness of the growing problem of marine litter.

So what? We hear you say.

Did you know that eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year? That’s a whole rubbish truck per minute – and 80% of that comes from land-based sources. It means that, if no action is taken, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

Yes, sadly you did hear that right.

Our mission is to help ‘Turn the Tide’ on the critical problem of the rapidly growing amount of plastic pollution in the oceans. With a global communication platform such as the Volvo Ocean Race we have both a unique opportunity and clear responsibility, to fight for this urgent issue to be addressed worldwide.

Urgent, because we are running out of time. This is a race within a race and it’s time the world woke up.

Find out how you can make a difference here.

There's no 'I' in team

The only campaign of it’s type in modern day sport, Turn the Tide on Plastic is considered progressive in more ways than one. Dee Caffari is the only female skipper in this edition of the race, pitting against six of the best male skippers offshore racing has to offer. Turn the Tide on Plastic is also the first team in the history of the race to carry an equal number of men and women onboard.

In addition to this the management team are training a youth squad and Turn the Tide on Plastic is the team with the highest number of nationalities onboard in this edition of the race.

Follow The Team

To keep up to date with the latest from Turn The Tide On Plastic follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Below are links to each account.

FacebookInstagram - Twitter - YouTube

About our partners

About the Mirpuri Foundation

Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organization, set up by Paulo Mirpuri with the aim of contributing to a better world. Their efforts go towards raising awareness and involvement for the most pressing issues that are threatening the planet.

Mirpuri Foundation is a proud supporter of Turn the Tide on Plastic and believe that the youth-focused and mixed team will amplify the United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas campaign around the world.

This is of great importance to the Mirpuri Foundation, who place marine conservation at the fore of their work. This involves raising awareness of current challenges and the emerging threats to our oceans such as pollution, acidification, rising temperatures, coral bleaching, unsustainable fishing methods and extinction risk in marine systems.

Paulo Mirpuri is a Portuguese businessman and philanthropist. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mirpuri Investments, he has invested in a broad range of companies.

In addition to his more than three decades of business management, Paulo Mirpuri is a medical doctor, an Airbus-qualified airline pilot and a qualified Skipper. His favorite sports are sailing, golf, tennis and horse riding.

The Mirpuri Foundation offers its resources and intelligence where they feel they are most needed, and strive for global collaboration between authorities, companies, communities and individuals, with a mission to make a positive difference.

The Mirpuri Foundation partners with governments, businesses, communities and individuals to address a range of other projects including in aerospace, medical research, wildlife conservation, performing arts, and social responsibility.

About Sky Ocean Rescue

Sky Ocean Rescue and Turn the Tide on Plastic share the same passion and commitment to protecting our oceans. Joining together for the Volvo Ocean Race, Sky Ocean rescue aims to support Turn the Tide on Plastic in their ambition to better understand the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans through their research.

Through extensive and exclusive coverage of the crew’s mission on Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Sports and digital platforms, Sky Ocean Rescue also hopes to inspire people to take action in their day-to-day lives and give a bigger and louder voice to the great work of Turn the Tide on Plastic and the issue of ocean health.

Sky Ocean Rescue will also support the UN Environment’s mission to engage governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter through the Volvo Ocean Race partnership. Sky will utilise the global reach of the Volvo Ocean Race to engage its customers, partners and other ocean enthusiasts to join the campaign.

About the UN Environment ‘Clean Seas’ Campaign

Each year, at least 8 million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, with severe consequences on marine wildlife, coastal economies and, potentially, human health. In the last 20 years, the proliferation of microbeads and single-use plastics has made the problem even more serious.

Launched in February 2017, UN Environment’s #CleanSeas marine plastic campaign is calling on governments, industry and citizens to end the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic and eliminate microplastics in cosmetics, both major sources of marine pollution, by the year 2022. So far 30 countries have joined the campaign, and several thousand people have pledged to take concrete steps to reduce their own plastic footprints.

About Ocean Family Foundation

Ocean Family Foundation’s aim is to promote awareness of the effects of pollution, the importance of biodiversity and the necessity for conservation of the world’s oceans. Ocean Family Foundation is a group of likeminded families that have come together to support ocean conservation and cleanup.

Useful information

Sign-up to the Volvo Ocean Race Media Hub to receive major news, regular race updates, video news releases, weekly race summary and the best videos and images.

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Register for the Volvo Ocean Race Image Library. Once your application has been approved, you will have access to download the images you require. If you have any questions, please contact images@volvooceanrace.com.


Emily Jay, Press Officer, emily@deecaffari.com

Beau Outteridge, Multimedia Manager, beau@deecaffari.com

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